Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005 and before that a regular correspondent for the paper. His articles have appeared in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Soul, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, Catholic Exchange <i>, and <i>Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in major newspapers. He is the author of Fruits of Fatima — Century of Signs and Wonders. He holds a graduate degree and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside on the East Coast.
ST. FAUSTINA PRAYER BOOK FOR ADORATION
By Susan Tassone
Our Sunday Visitor, 2018
Order: $16.95 – Best Price from EWTN: $12.00, Item #: T1861 from EWTNRC.com or (800) 854-6316.
With the book St. Faustina Prayer Book for Adoration, best-selling author Susan Tassone rounds out her trilogy based on St. Faustina and her Diary. She does so in a remarkable way.
Focusing on Eucharistic adoration, she has uncovered riches that had remained undiscovered or overlooked. At the same time, she connects the dots of adoration from Faustina to other saints including John Paul II and Mother Teresa, plus inspires us in what we can do about adoration and its place in our lives — right down to something called a “minute of adoration.” Plus there’s more.
Among top endorsers of the book are Cardinal Robert Sarah, and Bishops Robert Baker of Alabama and James Conley. Bishop Baker said: “The future of humanity will be greatly influenced by those who take time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.” And Marian Father Chris Alar said: “Here’s a book to help you pray with or without words…to be used before Our Lord in adoration and with Him at home.”
This book is unique. Sharing many details about her latest work with the Register, Tassone calls it “the first book to take advantage of St. Faustina’s incredible writings about adoration. Not just how she prayed this way but why she prayed this way and what the fruits of it were for her and others.” It describes how from these “prayers and sitting before Jesus Faustina’s compassion blossomed.”
Faustina, Adoration, and Us
We think of Faustina as connected to Divine Mercy and its message. Yet adoration plays a prominent part in her Diary.
“It’s everywhere,” Tassone says with great enthusiasm. “This book gives us the tools to see adoration as Faustina saw it. Yes, of course. the overall theme is Divine Mercy. But facets of that mercy are the holy souls, conversion, and adoration. If mercy is the prism, then those three are vivid colors that shine through it.”
Tassone brings to light one simple fact most forget and which answers this question. She emphasizes, “To highlight the direction of her spirituality Faustina named herself ‘Sr. Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament.’ Jesus confirmed her choice. Adoration wasn’t just central to her life as a religious. It was her life. Period.”
The author shares detail after detail. “Among the fruits of her adoration were the image of and message of Divine Mercy,” Tassone says. “Her time with Our Lord gave her the spiritual nourishment to confront her many challenges of daily life and from that sprang a fountain of love for all.”
But a main purpose of the book is not just to let us in on Faustina’s focus on adoration, but to show us why it’s important and how we can do the same, and very simply too. It means to guide us “to become who God wants us to be.”
“Reading Saint Faustina’s Diary touched me deeply and made me realize how adoration helps us to become closer to God,” Tassone says of her own reaction when she began. “With St. Faustina as our guide, we can learn more about the graces God offers us, ways to pray with and without words, and the unique and amazing relationship God shares with each one of us alone.”
The author describes how the book can help people pray and adore with St. Faustina and in union with Our Lady, the saints, angels, and the holy souls in purgatory, encourage intercession for others, in a special way for priests and religious, gain self- knowledge, ask for healing, offer love, thank Jesus, listen to him, and rest in him.
Another distinct discovery Tassone made while researching the Diary and that she brings to light in the book is “spiritual adoration.”
It’s so simple for anyone. Sometimes we can’t make it to a church or chapel for adoration. Tassone lists good reasons such as family responsibilities, job, health, distance from the church, and more.
“But we can do ‘spiritual adoration’ anywhere, anytime,” she says from what she learned from Faustina. “Her times of adoration were both in the convent chapel before Our Lord in the Eucharist and in private, in her room and even on her sick bed.”
“Follow St. Faustina’s example and make a ‘spiritual adoration,’” Tassone says. There’s a section in the book titled “Spiritual Adoration at Home.” She suggests we can even set up our own “adoration chapel” at home — “if only a designated corner or chair.”
Because the book gives examples of saints connecting with adoration, Tassone tells us “saints were no strangers to spiritual adoration. In fact, many would request a cell that would face the chapel or a nearby church. From their window they would kneel and bow down in adoration toward the Eucharistic Lord.”
Worried about time spent in adoration if it can’t be an hour? Tassone explains how Faustina shows there’s no mandatory amount of time. She wrote that sometimes all she could do was swing past the chapel on her way somewhere and offer “an oh-so brief prayer or two.”
Tassone calls them “Faustina’s moments and minutes of adoration. Throughout the whole diary she spent a moment, a minute, five minutes. We can slow down and do the same.”
To help us, Tassone includes a section with Faustina’s “beautiful, small, tender prayers of adoration. If only for a moment, you can join St. Faustina by doing this before the tabernacle or monstrance — and other times wherever you may be.”
Four examples? Oh My Jesus Save Me! Oh My Jesus Thank You! My Only Hope Is in You! Jesus, I Trust in You!
Overflowing Spiritual Riches
The book overflows with insights and prayers particularly connected with each section, wonderful prayers to use during adoration for a host of reasons. New prayers.
There are sections such as Faustina’s Seven Insights on Adoration; Seven Tips for Adoration; Seven Obstacles to Adoration and How to Deal with Them; and Contemporary Popes on Adoration.
There’s even help for one of the big stumbling blocks many face — silence in today’s world. Faustina wrote: “I take refuge in the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and I speak to Him with profound silence (Diary 73).”
“The value and blessing of silence is a common theme in her writing,” notes Tassone. “It was a lesson she continued to learn as she strove to become better at it. To be still. To listen. To just be with.”
Reflecting on why adoration is important, Tassone observes that prayer is critical today, and saints have attested “adoration is a unique form that helps not just them individually but those around them and throughout the world.”
Faustina made that connection. Tassone points out, “St. Faustina said every Holy Hour or moment or minute we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that every man, woman, and child living on earth receives a new effect of God’s grace. You affect the lives of every person on earth. That is the power of adoration.”
Tassone hopes that people, whether in church or at home, will learn more about adoration, try adoration, or increase what they’ve been doing already, and develop a greater love of this form of prayer. This work is “an adoration book that can be used anytime anywhere for all occasions.”
“There’s a Polish saying that goes: You become the one you befriend,” Tassone points out. “St. Faustina immersed herself in the fire of his love and the abyss of his mercy, and she came to know herself and her God. It was adoration that called her forth to go out and help others, and adoration empowered her to share Jesus’ compassion to everyone she encountered. This is how she became holy, how she became a saint.” This book is a guide along that path.